web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



The Anger Addict

Herskowitz-Moishe-NEW

Share Button

Everyone gets angry every once in a while; it is a basic human emotion that we express when we are faced with frustrations and emotional hurt out of our control. At times anger can be constructive as it motivates us to get things done, and can protect us from danger. However, that last quality is what also makes it destructive, particularly in the marriage relationship.

Many times when a couple is arguing they may, unconsciously, trigger childhood anger.  So much so, that if we would stop and listen to what they are arguing about, it would sounds like two eight year olds fighting in the back yard.

Let’s look at the case of Ethan and Mali, a young couple married less than a year. One of Ethan’s parents was Bi-Polar, and the other had issues of depression as well. To make things worse, neither one of them ever sought counseling or treatment. As a result Ethan would often take on the role of parent for his younger siblings.  This made him resentful and he chose anger as a way to vent his frustrations. He found that his anger not only gave him energy but it blocked his pain. Now, by nature, Ethan was a kind and giving person, and he wanted to make Mali happy.  However, when he got upset he would leave the house to give himself a “time out,” until he cooled off.  For Mali just walking out and leaving without a clue as to when he would return was just not acceptable. She had her own issues relating to parental abandonment. Mali’s father was seldom home. He would often go on business trips, and when he came home he was tired, and was not emotionally and physically available to anyone. When Ethan would leave, Mali would get even more upset.

I often tell couples in that “What you did in childhood to survive will kill you in your marriage.”  The brain does what is familiar.  Whenever Ethan would walk out, it would trigger the abandonment and resentment issues for Mali that would fuel her impulsive anger at Ethan, which would just make Ethan more upset.

 

What can we do to change our behavior patterns? Be aware.

Herskowitz-013114

 

It all starts with a part of the brain located right behind the eyes, the neocortex.  It is for screening, judging, and regulating the way our brain responds.  It is also the conductor, responsible for sending messages to the other parts of the brain letting them know whether we are safe or in danger and determining what type of coping response is required.  The amygdala is the part of the brain linked with a person’s mental and emotional state.

It’s like having a receptionist in the front office to greet visitors and an office manager in the back office making sure everything is running smoothly. Now if the secretary feels safe, the brain will send a message to the manager that “all’s quiet on the western front.”  Should the receptionist, let’s call her Ms. Neo, feel threatened, she will send a message to the office manager, Ms. Amy, who is responsible for emotions, memory formation, and stress response. It is Ms. Amy who will determine if action is required.  If yes, she will set off the security alarm saying, “Alert. Proceed with caution.”

In a stress situation, anger activates every muscle group in the body and you are ready to fight.  Cortisol, a hormone that will mobilize energy is released and set to the brain.  In addition, inside your brain, a sort of shidduch is about to take place: neurotransmitter chemicals known as Catecholamine and Dopamine are released, one to give you more energy and the other to give us pleasure and numb the pain.

Share Button

About the Author: Moishe Herskowitz, MS., LCSW, developed the T.E.A.M. (Torah Education & Awareness for a better Marriage). As a licensed clinical social worker and renowned family therapist, he guides new couples through easy-to-accomplish steps towards a happy, healthy marriage. He can be reached at CPCMoishe@aol.com or 718-435-7388.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

One Response to “The Anger Addict”

  1. thats just how we sound

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Flyers ordered Jews to appear at a designated location in Ukraine, in Sept., 1941. The next day, the Jews lined up at the Babi Yar Ravine.
‘Jews Must Register’ Flyer in Ukraine an Echo of Babi Yar
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Moishe Herskowitz
Herskowitz-Moishe-NEW

Your husband seems to have experienced what we have described as the Ambivalent Attachment.

Herskowitz-Moishe-NEW

Many times when a couple is arguing they may, unconsciously, trigger childhood anger. So much so, that if we would stop and listen to what they are arguing about, it would sounds like two eight year olds fighting in the back yard.

In my last article I had mentioned that often one of the symptoms of autophobia, a fear of abandonment, is that as adults people suffering with this condition may become extremely sensitive to rejection.

In part one (Family Issues 04-29-2011) we mentioned that often a symptom of the anxiety disorder, the fear of abandonment, is a strong need to be in control. That is because the person suffering from the disorder has lost someone in their past – due to separation, divorce or death – and may unconsciously blame themselves for the desertion.

The fear of abandonment, also known as autophobia, is an anxiety disorder characterized by an acute fear of being alone. Often, one of the symptoms of this particular anxiety is a strong need to be in control. This is because one has previously lost someone close through separation, divorce or death and may unconsciously blames his or herself for the event. When this happens, any type of separation may traumatize the person, even the marriage of his or her own child can be viewed as a life-threatening event.

The following was a letter sent as a response to the article, “Children of Shame” (02-04-2011). The article addressed the fact that children learn at a very young age to disconnect their feelings as a mechanism to end their feelings of shame. As these children become adults, they find it difficult to reconnect those out of fear that once again they will feel the pain of shame.

Children who grew up feeling shameful for the most part will have also grown up without someone to talk to about how it made them feel.

Shame is one of the most destructive feelings there is. It is a feeling that something is wrong within us and has a negative affect on a child’s self-development.

Traumatic events are typically unexpected, and uncontrollable. If in the past a person experienced a traumatizing event – even if it’s been long forgotten – the brain will remind them of that time, should something similar take place. Memories to traumatic occurrences lie dormant in the recesses of subconscious memories.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/the-anger-addict/2014/01/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: